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Amigos de Animales April Newsletter


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Amigos de Animales

April Newsletter

March Clinic Report

We sterilized 59 dogs and 57 cats at our March clinic.  There were 6 vets including Dra. Sandy Ulstrup from near Potrerillos and Dra. Linda Faris in recovery.
We need your help to get more animals to the clinic.  In your neighborhoods you possibly have neighbors whose animals need to be sterilized.  Perhaps your gardener and/or housekeeper have animals that need to be sterilized.  We have small business cards with English on one side and Spanish on the other which can be given to them so they can make the reservation with Magaly, our reservations person or notices can be posted about upcoming clinics at bus stops and in neighborhood stores.  Even though we keep our costs very low, sometimes they may need to have financial support to bring their animals to the clinic.  If you can help with that, perfect! We do not turn animals away and try to get the owners to participate however they can, $1 or $5 or whatever they can.  Magaly (6563-8686) can help you explain that if you are not confident of your Spanish skills.  To show how this works, I want to share a story.
Arlo and JulieAnn live in Volcancito and walk almost daily down the quebrada to town.  The quebrada ends just above the Haven Spa.   Arlo and JulieAnn often saw a mother dog and her puppies and finally talked the owners into having them sterilized.  At the end of the clinic, as we were finishing, Arlo asked Javier and Ruby if we could go with him to get these 3 dogs.   When we got there, the two puppies were evident but Mom could not be found. The owners thought mom was pregnant again and said in the 3 1/2 years since her birth she had 4 pregnancies and 4 puppies each time(we did not see any of those around the house).   There were an additional 5 or 6 larger male dogs, but none looked like the mother.  Finally, the owners found the mother dog under a brush pile, and when we got back to the clinic, it was obvious the mom was again pregnant.  Just think, this little 25-pound dog in 3 1/2 years had 16 puppies and would have made that 20 without us.  Thankfully she will have no more.  Arlo and JulieAnn paid for the surgeries.
To finish the story, Arlo bravely took those three dogs  back to the owners and with Javier’s help,  suggested to the owners that the puppies and mom needed to be watched closely for the next 6-7 days and that they (Arlo and JulieAnn) would take care of them and return them after they fully recovered.  Since then, Arlo and JulieAnn have daily leashed up the dogs, taken them for walks around the neighborhood and are trying to get them socialized.  The little female puppy, Fatima is especially fearful of being touched.  The dogs will be returned early in April to their owners.  Thank you, Arlo and JulieAnn for the care and concern you have shown for the welfare of these animals! 
Please go out into your neighborhoods and help us get needed animals to the clinic! 


Annual Meeting                April 14
                                                          10:00 a.m.
A de A Events
As you can see from our monthly financial report, we care for many animals each month, but the cost of medications, anaesthesia, supplies, etc. far outweigh the income we generate from payment for our services.  We never turn away an animal, regardless of the owner's ability to pay.  We also have several great Collectors who gather animals from Boquete, Dolega, David and beyond and bring them to our clinic for neutering or spaying.  Please help us continue to care for the health and well-being of Chiriqui's animals by making a donation of any size!

       Financial Statement

          Mar 18
    Clinic Income 1,283.00
    Donations 610.00
    Interest Income 66.38
  Total Income 1,959.38
    Building Repairs/Maint 165.95
    Clinic Coordinator 255.00
    Clinic Maintenance 10.00
    Clinic Supplies 200.84
    Food/Kitchen Supplies 86.97
    Freight 81.70
    Laundry 61.50
    Medical 1,029.81
    Misc. -26.00
    Phone Card/Internet 86.99
    Utilities 96.38
    Vet Reimbursements 1,578.00
    Yard Maintenance 55.00
  Total Expense 3,682.14
Net Income (Loss) (1,722.76)


The furry felines that inhabit our homes were not always a part of our families. It is believed that it was the Egyptians who first transformed the wild cat into a domesticated creature. This occurred an estimated 4000 to 5000 years ago. Compare this to the domestication of the dog, around 20 000 years ago. Notice that the dog was domesticated much earlier than the cat. This may explain why cats are not often as eager to please humans, and why they retain many of their natural instincts such as hunting mice. This independent nature and aloof quality is what led the Egyptians to admire these animals and bring them into their homes. What happened before this though? How did the wild cat evolve into the domesticated cat that we see today? We will focus on these questions and more as we strive to uncover the history of the cat.

Here’s a shocking fact – the very earliest ancestors of cats evolved from reptiles. Reptiles appear to us to be in stark contrast to the cat, so this may sound strange, but indeed it’s true. This development led to a group of small animals (approximately 30cm) that had sharp teeth for cutting. These creatures lived in the forest, either in the trees or on the ground. The miacids, as they were called, had long bodies and tails and were mostly carnivorous. These animals were to eventually adapt and evolve into the various carnivores of today (cat, dog, and many others). It is a myth that domestic cats evolved from the saber-toothed tiger as many people believe. The saber-toothed tiger was a gigantic cat, weighing up to 400kg that lived as early as 10 000 years ago. However, it failed to evolve and became extinct around that time.

Now that we have unsheathed the truth about the ancestry of the wild cat, we can move on back to the ancient Egyptians and their relationship with the cat. Simply said, the Egyptians worshipped cats. They saw them as divine creatures and worshipped their confident, independent personalities. Ancient Egyptians were so extreme in this manner that their law stated that a person guilty of murdering a cat was punishable by death! Understandably, if a person stumbled across a dead cat they would wail and moan in loud sorrow. This act ensured that everyone was aware of their grief, so they would not get blamed for the cat’s death. Although in modern times we mourn when our pet cats die, the Egyptians took this to a new level. The death of a household cat would cause such extreme sadness that the entire family would shave their eyebrows in remembrance. Additionally, those from wealthy families would mummify their cat and put it in a tomb with treasures and fine jewelry as its final resting place. The Egyptians’ devotion to cats was not just to a single household pet, but to all cats! 

During the Middle Ages, the public view of cats was flipped upside down when Pope Innocent VIII denounced the adoration of cats as pagan worship that was in defiance of God. The public now believed that all cats were evil, their sole purpose being to mislead and corrupt the faithful with their black magic. Something had to be done to stop this. The solution was that all cat owners were hunted down and put on trial as witches and heretics. When found guilty of “consorting with demonic forces”, both the cats and their owners were burned to death. How could cats ever survive this slaughter?

Fortunately for cat lovers, cats as a species did survive and the attitude towards cats became favourable again in Victorian times. This can mainly be attributed to certain individuals who admired cats and wanted to raise their societal status. Harrison Weir was one of these people and he organized the first cat show in Britain in 1871. This cat show led to an increased public interest in cats and in breeding them for their appearance. Another noteworthy name was Louis Wain, a cat artist, breeder, judge, and president of the National Cat Club in 1890. Both of these men deserve great mention for helping to rid the cat of its prior association with the devil.

The cat established its permanent place in the lives of humans by surviving through the brute viciousness practised against them by many. They continue to live widespread around the world and bring with them a whimsical air of confidence, intelligence, and independence. The Ancient Egyptians would have been pleased to see these same qualities that modern cats have retained throughout the years.

By Laura Platt – Pets.ca writer

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